“Long before it’s time for Mom to help plan the wedding dress or Dad to give the bride away, it’s time to be raising a future wife in your home. Because wives aren’t born – they are made.” That was the warning author Constance J. Foster gave mothers. And in her 1956 Parents Magazine article “Raise Your Daughter to Be a Wife,” Eve Nelson told mothers to get started early. She wrote, “It’s up to you to create a female aura before she can even say ‘goo’.”
So, good mothers schooled their daughters in cooking, cleaning, having kids, and being a stay-at-home mom. Fathers let their daughters know their main function was to make everything good, happy, and respectful for her spouse, the wage-earner. There was no sense spending thousands of dollars for a college tuition on a girl who was only going to be changing diapers. A better use of his money was for “finishing” school. Was that to finish off the job of learning marital servility?
The adage was “be an angel in the kitchen, a lady in the living room, and a devil in the bedroom.” Good cooking, good manners and good in bed. That was the recipe for happiness – his – not hers. Sexually, a women was told to submit to sex, whether she wanted it or not. There was no feminism or #METOO anything. In fact, she wasn’t even supposed to enjoy sex (still a popular opinion in cultures that support female genital mutilation). Sex was important in the marriage so she could keep her husband – the breadwinner – happy. The idea of marital rape was foreign, because sex was a man’s prerogative and right. She was little more than a depository. And, if a man cheated, it had to be her fault.
Abuse was often part of the package – except that it wasn’t considered abuse to hit or even spank a wife as a form of discipline. Men believed that sometimes a wife needed it just to “keep her in line.” While some religions still believe that, most people consider spanking as discipline to be domestic abuse.
Even though all that was going on in most households, a significant swing in woman-power had begun. During WWII, when men were at war, women were able to get jobs – and even managerial positions – in places they previously couldn’t – aircraft plants, shipyards, manufacturing. Most women who worked in those places liked it – and wanted to keep working. They resented being expected to go back to being housewives when the soldiers came home.
However, those women did it…but the genie was already out of the bottle. That resentment fueled the rebellion that later became “women’s liberation” and then the first and second waves of feminism. Though the old-style marriage that allowed a man to be in charge without question, and a woman to shut-up and do what was expected, was the norm, the wheels of change were cranking.
While Foster and Nelson were spewing old school garbage in magazines and books, many women started noticing that Harriet was smarter than Ozzie, women like Lucy and Ethel weren’t ditsy broads, and Ralph Kramden would have fallen apart if it wasn’t for Alice being the brains in the partnership. Then all hell broke loose. Books like The Feminine Mystique and Fear of Flying became bestsellers. The National Organization of Women (NOW) was formed, News-capturing events like Billie Jean King’s “Battle of the Sexes” was the talk of the world. Suddenly feminism took center stage and, when it did, opened doors for many women.
Since then women have grown up and grown into their own power. They own their own homes, have advanced degrees, executive positions, thriving businesses and, more and more, sit on the boards of major corporations. There are still so many issues for women, but the worst of them are history, or at least being addressed with movements like #MeToo.
That’s why The Five-Year Marriage is so important for today’s empowered woman. The old-fashioned marriage of yesteryear is simply obsolete. The empowered woman needs a marital structure that honors her needs and desires.
The Five-Year Marriage does that by shifting the old paradigm, and giving a woman both her voice AND the power to go with that voice. And, at the same time, it honors the men who join them in as an equal in partnership. The marital partnership is key to The Five-Year Marriage where both partners can expect The Solid Seven of the Five-Year Marriage:
- Emotional Chemistry
- Ongoing Dialogue
- Personal Responsibility
- Mutual Respect
The Solid Seven set reasonable relationship parameters for both partners. And, within those parameters, couples build the kind of trust that leads to true intimacy in a marriage. In the end, intimacy is what the empowered woman – and the man who loves her – really wants.
You can read more about the Solid Seven and how to create your own Five-Year Marriage the book (available on amazon.com): The Five-Year Marriage: Shifting the Marriage Paradigm
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